Game day – Semi-final @ Queen’s

At the last minute I decided I am going to watch this game from home. I haven’t watched a Guelph game on live TV in a couple of decades I would guess. Perhaps it goes all the way  back to the CHCH TV OUAA Game of the Week days. The only other game I haven’t attended in person in the past 6 years was the Carleton game and I watched that streaming on-line. While its better than nothing it clearly had its limitations.

Head Coach Stu Lang Photo: Rob Massey

Head Coach Stu Lang
Photo: Rob Massey

I don’t see much new in the OUA media this morning. But there are a couple of links I didn’t share yesterday. The Guelph Mercury’s Rob Massey talked with HC Stu Lang after Thursday’s practice. Full story: Gryphons fighting for the Yates Cup and national respect.

The following are some excerpts with Lang’s quotes:

 “We’re still in that situation where I think everyone thinks we’re just an average club, even though we had success last year and this year.”

The Gryphs feel they deserve a little more respect than they’ve been getting in the provincial university league after posting their second consecutive 7-1 season. Their 14 wins are the most by any team in the league the last two regular seasons.

However, their schedule this year did not include the unbeaten Western Mustangs. And their loss was to the Gaels by a 37-23 score Oct. 19 at Kingston.

“In fairness, we still have to prove ourselves and win a championship,” Lang said. “We do have a good team and I wish we got a little more respect for that.”

“We just have to play better,” Lang said. “We have to be able to run the ball on the offensive side and on the defensive side, we have to get to (Queen’s quarterback) Billy McPhee. We have to disrupt him.”

The Gryphs felt they did that last year in their two wins over the Gaels. McPhee threw four interceptions and was sacked four times in a 33-28 loss in the regular season and he was intercepted three times and sacked twice in a 42-39 loss in the semifinals.

“We saw what happened a year ago … when he threw some interceptions because he had a lot of pressure,” Lang said.

In fairness to the D-Line and McPhee, Guelph did sack him four times and pressure him many more times in the game two weeks ago. McPhee wasn’t fazed by the pressure to the same extent he was in the past, even other games this season. Still, rattling McPhee is clearly the goal because he will turn the ball over. A big step in doing that would be not letting Queen’s get as many easy rushing yards as they did last time.

Second, with Guelph having been ranked 4th or 5th in the CIS for most of the year they are getting some respect from the voters in the Football Writers of Canada CIS Top 10 voting. That said, there is still an undercurrent of opinion that says that Guelph hasn’t proven anything yet in spite of a 14-2 regular season record and a 2-1 play-off record the past two years. You know what? Some of those critics still won’t give the Gryphons any respect even if they beat Queen’s today. It’s easy to imagine what they will be saying if Guelph is headed back to the Yates Cup next week. By the way, if the Gryphons win today they still have a chance of hosting the Yates Cup next week. That would require the McMaster Marauders to upset the Western Ontario Mustangs in the other OUA semi-final.

The Yates Cup - the oldest trophy in football

The Yates Cup – the oldest trophy in football

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It appears Queen’s HC Pat Sheahan has stayed away from the cameras all week as I can find no sign of his usual mid-week press conference. Nothing but old stuff on youtube.com. Even gogaelsgo.com’s latest vid is the postgame comments from the Oct 19 game. Update: This article in the Kingston Whig-Standard – Gaels ready to face familiar foe – tells us that he did indeed hold his usual press conference. So in an unusual move Queen’s has withheld the video version.

The Queen’s Golden Gaels have a sense of scent when it comes to Yates Cup semifinal opponent the Guelph Gryphons.

Queen’s head coach Pat Sheahan feels there is little mystery to the matchup since the teams finished the regular season playing each other.

The Gryphons had to deal with first-round playoff opponent Windsor last Saturday while the Gaels, by beating Guelph 37-23 the weekend before, finished 7-1 to earn the bye to the semifinals.

“I would say the teams know each other quite well when you play teams back-to-back,” Sheahan said.

“Hey, they aren’t even here and we know what they smell like,” added Sheahan ….

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I missed it but my dad tells me that David Akin signed off his nationally televised political discussion program Battleground last night with … “For those of you who follow OUA football – GO GRYPHONS GO!!

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